Laura Farmer, 410.783.8024
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Presents Holiday Cirque de la Symphonie, December 7-11
Bob Bernhardt leads the BSO in Christmas carols and Holiday favorites to accompany the circus feats of audience-favorite Cirque de la Symphonie
Baltimore, Md. (November 17, 2011) - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform favorite holiday tunes to accompany the impossible exploits of talented contortionists, aerialists, strongmen and more in Holiday Cirque de la Symphonie on Wednesday, December 7 at 2 p.m., Friday, December 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Thursday, December 8 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. In the tradition of a European circus, the concert hall turns into a Big Top as Cirque members of the finest artistic level perform on and above the stage. A favorite of BSO audiences, Cirque de la Symphonie returns with a Holiday program for the entire family. Featured festive tunes, led by Bob Bernhardt, include selections from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite, Anderson's rousing Sleigh Ride, and a medley of favorite Christmas carols for a Holiday event for the entire family. See below for complete program information.
Cirque artists include world-record holders and gold-medal winners of international competitions. Among the shows' highlights, Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski, former Polish national hand-balancing champions, perform feats of balance and strength that previously gained national exposure on the popular TV program "America's Got Talent."
Bob Bernhardt, conductor
Bob Bernhardt continues to bring his unique combination of easy style, infectious enthusiasm and wonderful musicianship to his post as Louisville Symphony Orchestra's Principal Pops Conductor, now in his 29th season. His professional opera career began with the Birmingham Opera in 1979, two years before he joined the Louisville Orchestra. He worked with Kentucky Opera for 18 consecutive seasons including six as its Principal Guest Conductor. With his own opera company in Chattanooga, he has conducted dozens of fully-staged productions in a genre he adores. He has been a frequent guest of the Nashville Opera. Born in Rochester, New York, he holds a master's degree from the University of Southern California's School of Music, where he studied with Daniel Lewis. He is also a Phi Beta Kppa, summa cum laude graduate of Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he was an Academic All-American baseball player.
Alexander Streltsov, aerialist
Alexander Streltsov is a Russian aerial artist who started working with famed cirque choreographer Pavel Brun and producer Valentin Gneushev when he was only twelve, performing on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater. The same year he won the gold medal in the competition among international cirque artists at the prestigious Festival Mondial Du Cirque De L'Avenir in Paris. His combination of natural strength, artistic expression, and grace sets his performance apart from other aerialists. Also known as "Sasha," he has performed for three Russian presidents and the Bolshoi Ballet, numerous symphonies in the US and Europe, and elaborate theater and stage productions worldwide. He has made many television appearances, such as the star-studded ABC-TV special "Christopher Reeve- A Celebration of Hope" and the PBS nationwide broadcast of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Fourth of July Celebration. He continues be a favorite at music halls, where he soars out over the audience in a spectacular display of aerial artistry or performs his riveting spinning cube act.
Christine Van Loo, aerialist
Christine Van Loo is a 7-time consecutive National Champion, Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, and Athlete of the Decade in acrobatic gymnastics. She was inducted into the USSA (acro-gymnastics) Hall of Fame and the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Honor. As a professional aerialist and acrobat she has performed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, at two Grammy Awards (with No Doubt and with Ricky Martin), at the American Music Awards (with Aerosmith), the Miss Universe pageant, and Paul McCartney's European tour. She was a trainer and performer with NBC's Celebrity Circus, and she choreographed the aerials for Britney Spears World Tour and the Stars on Ice US tour. Christine provides spell-binding performances of aerial silks, rope, lira, and trapeze with Cirque de la Symphonie.
Jarek and Darek, strongmen/hand-balancers
The mind-boggling strength and agility of Jarek and Darek's "Duo Design" provides one of the most powerful acts to be included in Cirque de la Symphonie's captivating program. This dynamic and exciting balancing act consists of Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski, former Polish national hand-balancing champions. They have competed and performed throughout Europe and the United States, winning championships in Evian, France and Sarasota, Florida. Over the past few years, these prolific performers have thrilled audiences at several NBA halftimes, Cirque du Soleil, Circus Circus, Busch Gardens, and the national tour of Cirque Ingenieux. Their Cirque de la Symphonie performances have left audiences stunned and amazed at music halls everywhere.
Aloysia Gavre, aerialist
Aloysia Gavre is another incredible aerial performer from the Ecole National de Cirque, Montreal, with early training from Master Lu-Yi and the Pickle Family Circus School. Her aerial acrobatics and graceful maneuvers on the aerial hoop, suspended high above the stage, add three-dimensional excitement to the symphony and the music hall. Aloysia was the Special Prize Winner at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. A veteran of stage and theater performances worldwide, Aloysia is best known as a veteran of Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam" and "O." Her five years with Quidam established her as one of the best aerial artists in the world, and today she shares that experience with others as choreographer for Cirque Mechanics and Troupe Vertigo and as director of Cirque School in Los Angeles. Aloysia's regular performances with Cirque de la Symphonie and live orchestras take aerial acrobatics to a new level.
Vladimir Tsarkov, juggler and mime
Vladimir Tsarkov provides a spell-binding performance with combinations of mime and juggling feats. A favorite of the younger members of the audiences, Vladimir's Red Harlequin act features rings, balls, and batons, and he's even been known to teach the maestro a trick or two! He is a veteran of Circus Circus, Cirque Ingenieux, and various Cirque de la Symphonie performances. Vladimir graduated from Russia's prestigious State College of Circus and Theater Arts and won the gold medal at the Cirque de Demain International Festival in France. His performance with the symphony is pure entertainment and guaranteed to please audiences of all ages.
Irina Burdetsky, hoops
Irina Burdetsky lives in New York, but travels worldwide as one of the most entertaining hoops performers in the business. She grew up in a circus family in Moscow, trained by some of the greatest names in acrobatics, gymnastics, and hoops, and traveled as one of the youngest performers with the Moscow Circus. She was awarded the Grand Silver Medal by the Queen of Monaco at the Concours International Des Ecoles de Cirque in Monte Carlo, and has earned numerous other awards as well. Irina starred in such programs as Japan's Circus-Mircus, world tours of Cirque Ingenieux, Cirque La Masque, and Showboat in Atlantic City. Her exciting performance with Cirque de la Symphonie combines her talents with the hoops, contortion, and dance.
Simon Chaban, acrobatics
Simon Chaban comes from the rich circus traditions cultivated in the San Francisco, including the new Pickle Family Circus, and has extensive training with masters in acrobatics, modern dance, juggling, martial arts, physical comedy, and magic. He fearlessly performs a spectacular fire juggling routine, and his unique staff juggling and acrobatic act is an original creation. Simon's experience has extended internationally with the Swiss Circus Monti, Troupe Vertigo World Tour, the 30th Anniversary Taiko Drumming Festival, the Crucibles Fire Ballet, and the Paris production of Le Plus Grande Cabaret Du Monde. Simon's acrobatic skills have landed him several roles as a stuntman in Hollywood, and he is an accomplished choreographer as well. His unique skills blend perfectly with Cirque de la Symphonie's live orchestra presentations.
Elena Tsarkova, contortionist
Elena Tsarkova, the "Lady in White," is a graduate of the famed Moscow Circus School and first-place winner of the prestigious National Russian Circus Festival. From her "Master of Sports" in gymnastics, Elena developed into a unique and graceful performer with the Big Apple Circus, Switzerland's Circus Knie, and Germany's Circus Roncalli. Her combination of contortion, balance, and graceful dance moves has made her a major star with Cirque de la Mur in Florida and Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Elena's experience with many major stage and theater productions offers a professional background that allows for a truly unforgettable performance with the live symphony. The "Lady in White" provides an elegant touch to Cirque de la Symphonie.
Sagiv Ben Binyamin, trapeze
Sagiv Ben Binyamin began his gymnastic career in his native Israel before moving to the United States in 2000. His mastery of trapeze, fabrics, rope, hand balancing, and acrobatics quickly attracted the attention of circus companies and major entertainment producers. His stunt credits include movies such as Polar Express and productions such as Universal Studios' Spiderman Rocks. He is famous for his acrobatics with Teatro ZinZanni, Cirque Productions, Anti-Gravity, Cirque de la Mer, Velocity Circus, Eye of Newt Circus, and the Birdhouse Factoryand he has worked with performing artists such as Cher. Sagiv provides an amazing rope act and tantalizing duo with Aloysia Gavre in a tango of balance and strength with Cirque de la Symphonie.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO SuperPops: Cirque de la Symphonie
Wednesday, December 7 at 2 p.m.-Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Thursday, December 8 at 8 p.m.-Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, December 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.-JMSH
Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.-JMSH
Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m.-JMSH
Bob Bernhardt, conductor
Christine Van Loo, aerial silks
Aloysia Gavre & Sagiv Ben Binyamin, tango dancers and quick change artists
Vladimir Tsarkov, juggler
Elena Tsarkova, contortionist and dancer
Simon Chaban, spinning cube and acrobat
Irina Burdetsky, spinning hoops
Aloysia Gavre, aerialist
Sagiv Ben Binyamin, aerialist
Jarek and Darek, strongmen
Alexander Streltsov, aerialist
Tickets for these concerts range from $17.50 to $88. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org. Children ages 4 and older are welcome to attend matinees. Special kids' matinee pricing is available for children age 4-12.